Today’s Flash Fiction is a continuation of the story I posted for the corn related challenge a few weeks ago. I plan on adding to this story serially (cereally?) over the coming weeks. They’ll be available on my Wattpad
page as well. Wattpad is a story sharing site and everything is free. Enjoy the story!
Jake watched the car recede into the distance. He stumbled back a few paces and squinted at his hands. He was having difficulty seeing them. It wasn’t until then that he realized that he was wearing his hood. He ripped it off with his left hand and saw that his right held the sickle. When had he taken it from his belt? He threw it to the ground.
“What have I done?” He’d killed less than a dozen people since he’d first used the sickle as a weapon. They had always been adults, and they had always been alone. He never took more than one a month. It was all the ground required, and they were always the sort of person no one would miss. Then the young couple had come to his farm. Taking them had been an act of impulse. It felt right.
“I enjoyed the killing. I wanted to feel their blood on my hands.” He turned and stumbled to the stairs. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. He gave a body to the ground, and it gave back to him tenfold. It wasn’t about joy. It was no more than good farming.
“I sent them.” The whispered voice came from the nearby cornfield.
Jake rubbed at his ears with the heels of his hands. “I’m not hearing this. I almost killed that little girl and her mama. You don’t need them.”
“You are hearing me, Jake. You’ve been good to me. I need you to keep being good to me.”
“I’m hearing voices. My killings are…” He searched for the word that he’d heard on some cop show. “Escalating. Oh my god, I’m a serial killer.” He looked across the driveway at his mask and sickle. “I’m not doing it for you. I’m doing it for me.”
He fell to his knees on the hard packed earth and looked up at the pristine sky. “Take it from me, God!” He held his hands up to the sky, clasped together. It wasn’t the first time he’d begged like this. When his father had still been alive he would take this pose to try and avoid a whipping. He wanted that whipping now. “I don’t want this any more. I’ll be a good boy.”
“God won’t answer you, Jake. I’m the god that you chose.” The corn field rippled at its nearest edge. A man stepped out, dressed in dark jeans and a red and black checked shirt. His face was hidden in the shadow of his hat. Each of the man’s arms ended in a sickle. “You will continue to appease me, Jake.”
Jake’s head whipped around and he looked at the thing that stood there. He screamed and scrambled backwards on all fours. “Oh, no. No, no, no. God, no!” Tears and snot ran down his face.
The thing with hooks for hands strode forward. “Oh yes, Jakey. You will water my fields with blood. You will fertilize it with bones. If you do not do this, then I will be most displeased. You will have to take your station in the field, scaring away the crows.”
Jake’s mind flashed to the scarecrows. He imagined blackbirds unafraid of him as he hung there, arms and legs held in place with bailing twine and barbed wire. They wouldn’t be scared until his eyes and the flesh from his face had been pecked clean. That would take a very long time. Even after his sight was mercifully taken from him, he would hang there for eternity, the sun burning him and the twine cutting into his flesh.
He scrubbed at the snot and tears on his face with the back of one sleeve. “I don’t want that, sir.” His voice was cowed.
The edge of one blade caressed his cheek. “I know you don’t, Jake. So, you go on and do what I tell you to. Then things will go well with you. Only more blood will wash your stained soul clean.”
“Yes, Daddy.” He came to his feet, stumbling a bit as he did. The figure was gone. He walked over to the mask and sickle that lay on the ground. He reached down and grabbed them, tucking them both in his belt. The corn god would send him more people soon. He needed to be ready.
He didn’t want to fail.